I was going to post today about kicking my backside and getting back in gear but a strange thing happened at lunch.
These voices came to me very clearly. I mean, I was hearing dialogue clear as day. Two ladies. And they would not. shut. up. They just went on and on and on until I gave in and wrote some of it down tonight in between kids coming home and dinner.
Then I looked up and I had 4,200+ words.
Insane, huh? I haven’t written that much in a month, let alone in one day. It’s not the story I’m supposed to be working on (although it is in Lady Wyre’s world). I’m not even sure it’s something I would try to sell. It’s pretty off the wall, even for me.
But it’s been fun — and sometimes it’s nice to have fun again. So for now, I won’t make a bulleted list of all the stuff I have to get done and I’ll just listen to Dottie and Vi chat some more.
First draft of the fun I’ve had this evening. Happy May!
Lady Violet Meacham, the Duchess of Blackmyre, yawned behind her gloved hand, though she made no effort to hide her boredom from her companion. “Why did I allow you to drag me to Vauxhall’s again?”
“For the scenery,” Lady Ruthanne, Countess of Dottham known affectionately as “Dottie,” replied with a wink at the young gentlemen promenading about the gardens. “Hasn’t Her Majesty ordered us all to marry as quickly as possible?”
“Oh, Dottie,”Violet sighed, shaking her head. “Surely you don’t expect to find anything interesting enough to bed here.”
Dottie feigned a stuffy arrogance. “But these are the finest blooded young lads in all of Britannia, Your Grace. If you can’t find an interesting prospect for marriage here, than where do you propose to look?”
Violet made the mistake of allowing her gaze to meet the eyes of one of the young men hovering a polite distance away. His friends whispered and laughed, encouraging him to approach and beg an introduction. She ran her gaze down his young body attractively dressed in the finest Londonium had to offer. His buckskins were spotless and so tight it looked as though his modiste had sewed him into trousers. His package was a nice size. Not too large, nor too small.
His manner eager and dutifully shy, whether he was truly an innocent debutante or merely feigning the role to gain her eye, she didn’t care to hazard a guess. His features were fine and elegant, his eyes wide and sparkling with the dare of approaching one of the richest and most eligible catches in Town. Even her own mother’s curse on her deathbed and whispers of Blackmyre’s darkest urges couldn’t keep them away from the lure of her money.
He scurried to her side and took her hand in both of his to press his mouth to her knuckles. “Forgive my rudeness, Your Grace. I am overcome by your presence and beauty.”
Barely, she suppressed the urge to jerk her hand away. Thank God she’d worn gloves this evening, or she’d have to endure his sloppy affection on her bare skin.
“Blackmyre, may I introduce this young man to you?”
The amusement in Dottie’s voice made Violet grit her teeth, but her friend ignored the fierce glare.
Again throwing custom and manners to the wind, he introduced himself, tripping over the words. “Garrett Wellesley of House Wellington, Your Grace. It’s an honor to meet you at last.”
Surprised, Violet allowed him to keep her hand, even wrapped her own fingers around his to keep him now that her curiosity was piqued. “Wellington let you out alone, did she? I’m surprised you’re so honored to meet me, young man, when your grandmother must have many vile and inflammatory things to say about Blackmyre.”
He hesitated only a moment, allowing a spark of intelligence to glint in his eyes that attracted her more than his pretty clothes and virile young body. “She has indeed, Your Grace. Yet the honor is mine.”
Ah, a young rebel, then. No doubt a finely educated bluestocking who’d take the first opportunity to lecture her on men’s rights and how the Queen should be deposed immediately. For a moment, she actually allowed herself to consider courting this young man. It’d be amusing to see how quickly Wellington could pop a vein in her forehead once she realized her precious grandson had fallen into Blackmyre’s clutches.
She allowed herself the pleasure of a small test. Incrementally, she tightened her fingers, watching his face. His eyes narrowed, his nostrils flared, and his tongue slipped between his perfect white teeth to nervously moisten his lips. Most importantly, he didn’t pull away. He even gripped her hand back as tightly, indicating at least an initial show of spirit.
This could be interesting. Plus I would have the chance to get back at Wellington…
“Your Grace.” A man wearing her livery dropped to his knee beside her, head bowed. “There’s an urgent situation that needs your immediate attention.”
“Very well. Please excuse me, Mr. Wellington. It was a pleasure to meet you.”
The purr of her voice made his cheeks flood with crimson. Stammering and bowing, he backed away to rejoin his friends. If nothing else, word would get back to Wellington about the near miss. Surely the old hag wouldn’t let her precious grandson out to romp about Londonium without an escort next time.
Violet followed her man outside. Dottie tagged along, still chuckling to herself. “You made quite an impression on that young fool, Blackmyre. I hope his dear grandmamma doesn’t drop dead of an aneurism as soon as she hears about his little coup tonight.”
“Hmm, the Queen would never forgive me if the field marshal dropped dead.”
“Indeed,” Dottie laughed. “The Season would certainly be ruined. Majel would have to stop the parties long enough to find a new House desperate enough to accept the task of defeating Francia when so many others have failed. I’m surprised she hasn’t asked you to fill in with your formidable reputation.”
Violet didn’t respond. In fact, Queen Majel had invited her to accept that very position before she’d extended it to Wellington. Where Wellington thought taking the helm of the army meant dressing up like a soldier while she continued to attend the same whirl of parties all Season, Violet would have actually relished the opportunity to command the troops to war.
Yet her health wouldn’t allow it. Even walking rapidly after her servant toward the stables was enough to make her heart beat alarmingly fast. With the damned corset squeezing her ribcage, she could hardly breathe. Forcing herself to slow down and breathe as deeply as possible, she asked, “What’s the emergency, Cole?”
“I interrupted something I wasn’t supposed to see, Your Grace.” Cole glanced back at her and ducked his head a little, his own form of apology and dedication to his mistress that immediately conveyed the gravity of the situation. That little sign of respect told her exactly what kind of scene he’d interrupted. “I couldn’t help myself. I heard a commotion and once I saw him, I couldn’t leave him.”
Cole knew more about her secret inclinations than most, because he’d been on the receiving end more often than not. If he hadn’t been able to leave… “Dottie, perhaps you’d better return to the party.”
“I’m not leaving, Violet.” The use of her given name carried a solemn weight of their long friendship. Yet Dottie didn’t know half the things that Cole had already seen at her hand. “I’m your friend regardless of what secrets you carry, and you might need my help.”
“Very well,” Violet answered gruffly, but linked her arm with her friend’s gratefully. “Just remember that I warned you.”